The Desolate Era - Book 8, Chapter 2 - Northmont Blacktigers Style
The flying boat soared through the skies, entering the Darknorth Peak’s estate.
“Senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.” Forgard, Cloudship, and Cloudjade, the three Zifu Disciples, all called out with respect. The Whitewater Hound next to them looked towards Ning as well, and Ning grinned towards him. “Uncle White, I’m going to go into my private training room to engage in some closed-door training. Only call me if there is something extremely important.”
The Whitewater Hound nodded. Ning then went directly into his private training room.
Cloudjade nibbled on her lips as she stared at Ning. “He just glanced at me. He didn’t even give me a good look. Hmph. Back in the tribe, there were so many people who wanted to become Dao-companions with me. But this senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning hasn’t even engaged in a proper conversation with me.”
Cloudjade’s alluring charm was indeed tremendous. The fox spirits and other beautiful maidservants which Ning had seen in the Carefree Caverns were all inferior to her. Even Ninelotus was slightly inferior to her. The only one comparable to her was that reincarnated Immortal, the Rainbowflame Fairy, Yu Wei. No wonder Cloudjade had always been self-confident!
She naturally wanted to reel in this disciples of the Black-White College. This Ji Ning, in her mind, truly was the best selection for her to become Dao-companions with. But unfortunately…up till now, Ji Ning had never said a word to her.
“I refuse to believe it!” Cloudjade mused to herself silently.
“I wonder how the battles at the Dao Debate Palace went.” Cloudship, by her side, had a look of anticipation in his shining eyes. “None of us know,” Forgard said gravely. Cloudship glanced at Forgard, then pursed his lips.
Within the private training room. Ning sat there in the lotus position, streaks of sword energy flying around him, occasionally chopping, occasionally stabbing, occasionally blocking. One stance after another came out…they appeared ordinary, but they contained a truly heart-shaking fierceness to them.
Suddenly, all of the sword energies around him vanished. “Whew.” A hint of a smile appeared on Ning’s face. “I’ve spent an entire night training, and I have indeed made further gains, as well as solidified my previous insights.”
“The Grand Dao of the Sword? Sword Immortal?” A look of anticipation was in Ning’s eyes. Whoosh. Ning rose to his feet, and the stone door opened with a rumble. Soon, he arrived outside the courtyard.
There was a hint of light in the skies. Ning stood there in the courtyard, and as he took in a deep breath of air, filled with dense amounts of natural, elemental energy, he felt all the happier.
“Senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.” A soft voice suddenly rang out nearby. Ning turned to look. It was Cloudjade, dressed in a light pink Daoist robe. Although the robe was rather loose and large, on her incomparably ravishing body, it gave an alluring feeling that was both faint and bone-deep. Her long black hair was simply combed, but it also gave off a natural, magnetic aura.
“She truly is a lovely person. Why in the world did Baiwei have her come and be my retainer?” Ning mused to himself. Although Cloudjade was indeed exquisite in her appearance, what Ning wanted was to be truly carefree and unbound. How could he so casually select a Dao-companion? Even if he were to choose one, it would be an incomparably major affair. For now, at least, this Cloudjade hadn’t moved Ning’s heart in the slightest.
“I haven’t had a chance to thank you yet, senior apprentice-brother, for giving me the chance to enter your service and join the Black-White College.” Cloudjade’s willowy, graceful body curtsied in a show of respect.
Ning nodded gently. Suddenly, a figure ran over from outside. It was a young servant. The young servant couldn’t help but glance towards that exalted, insurpassably seductive Immortal practitioner, Cloudjade, but then he hurriedly said in a nervous manner, “Master, someone is outside, and he claims to be your senior apprentice-brother. He’s right at the door. He’s already been waiting for the amount of time needed to boil a kettle of tea.”
“Oh?” Ning nodded, then laughed and said in clear voice, “Which senior apprentice-brother is it, might I ask? I’ve neglected you by making you wait here for so long, senior apprentice-brother. Please, come in, quickly.”
“Hurry and go prepare refreshments,” Ning said, looking at the nearby Cloudjade. “Alright.” Cloudjade hurriedly bowed, then quickly departed.
The ordinary, mortal youth had cold sweat rolling down his back. He hurriedly left as well. Just now, when he had taken a secret glance at that unsurpassingly alluring beauty, Cloudjade, he felt as though he had seen one of the legendary fairies. At the same time, he sighed to himself, “If I could have a fairy like her as my woman, even if I could only live for an hour, I would be satisfied. And yet, Master doesn’t even care about a maiden like her at all.”
“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.” A youth dressed in a black Daoist robe came walking in. His eyes seemed to contain the stars in them, and a smile was on his face. “I previously met you both during the grand entrance ceremony as well as the Dao Debate Palace, but I hadn’t had the chance to say anything to you. My name is Hu Yongchun, and my Daoist title is the same as my name; Yongchun, meaning ‘Everspring’.”
“Senior apprentice-brother Everspring, please come in.” Ning, as an Immortal practitioner, had an incomparably perfect memory. He remembered that during the Dao Debates, this Everspring had been by the side of the fat, sloppy-looking youth. Someone who was able to stand directly next to that youth was most likely one of the fairly talented Wanxiang Adepts of the College.
The two fellow disciples sat there facing each other, while Cloudjade delivered fine wine and fruits to them. “Junior apprentice-brother, you have quite a lovely lady here.” Everspring laughed as he delivered a few words of praise, and Cloudjade’s face turned slightly red.
Ning laughed. “She’s just taking the chance to train under my service.” “Oh.” Everspring nodded. He immediately noted that this junior apprentice-brother of his seemed to hold no interest at all in this devilishly attractive maiden, and so he didn’t mention her any further.
Cloudjade served the two, watching as Ji Ning and Everspring, two formal disciples of the Black-White College, chatted and laughed amongst themselves. At first, she had been filled with eagerness, but towards the end, she felt vaguely heartsick. At first, Everspring had praised her beauty, but afterwards, both he and her own master, Ji Ning, had completely focused on their conversation, not sparing so much as a glance for her.
Both of them were blessed by the heavens with talent; clearly, they didn’t care about her appearance. This truly hurt her heart.
“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning!” Suddenly, a voice rang out from outside. “Another one,” Ning mused to himself. The reason why he had left the private training room so early today was precisely because he realized that his performance during the Dao Debates had probably attracted the attention of quite a few fellow disciples, who would come in order to make friends with him. In turn, the more friends he had amongst his fellow disciples, the better it would be for him.
The formal disciples of the Black-White College, after all, were people who outsiders would view as extremely hard to befriend, even if they wanted to. One formal disciple after another arrived, either alone or in pairs or triplets, causing the courtyard to become quite rowdy. Every so often, one of them would leave, but there would always be from three to five people within the courtyard.
Cloudjade, as his female servant, naturally served them personally. What hurt her the most was…aside from those senior apprentices who offered her a kind word of praise, there was only a single senior apprentice-brother out of the twenty-plus formal disciples who gave her so much as a close look. That senior apprentice-brother’s Daoist title was ‘Joybliss’. According to what he said, he delighted in tandem-training.
“These disciples of the Black-White College, aside from that one that likes to engage in tandem-training, truly all have extraordinary Dao-hearts.” In the end, Cloudjade could only sigh to herself in amazement. Indeed, everyone capable of joining the Black-White College was a peerless talent. And, from the sounds of it…
Her own master, Ji Ning, was one of the most outstanding members of this group of peerless talents, someone who could be described as a monster! This was why so many fellow apprentice-brothers and apprentice-sisters had come to befriend him.
“Junior apprentice-brother Ji Ning, I brought two of my junior apprentice-sisters over as well Would you be willing to meet them?” A soft voice rang out, and instantly, Ji Ning and the two people he was chatting with turned their heads. They soon saw three streaks of light moving towards them through the air from afar.
“Senior apprentice-sister Ninelotus, since you wish to meet with me, how would I dare refuse?” Ning raised his head to stare at Ninelotus, high in the sky. Ninelotus was accompanied by a lovely woman dressed in red robes as well as a silver-robed maiden with a fierce aura. The three women landed from the skies at the same time.
“They…” Upon seeing these three senior apprentice-sisters descend, Cloudjade suddenly had a sense of self-contempt in her heart. The bearing and aura of these three…only they were truly worthy of being referred to as fairies.
“This is junior apprentice-sister Qingqing, while this is junior apprentice-sister Whitewater.” Ninelotus laughed as she looked towards Ning. “Greetings to you, senior apprentice-brother Ji Ning.” Both the willowy, red-robed woman and the silver-robed maiden looked towards Ning.
Only with the arrival of nightfall did Ning’s Darknorth Peak return to its usual calm. His fellow disciples had all left. Only…one more person had arrived. It was Northmont Baiwei.
“Baiwei, sit.” Ning and Baiwei sat down. Baiwei smiled and said, “I knew that you would definitely be very busy today, and that quite a few of your colleagues would definitely come visit you. So, I intentionally waited until it was almost dark before coming.”
“Baiwei, you truly are formidable,” Ning said in praise. Baiwei laughed loudly. “How could I not guess that this would happen? Right; today, I’ve come at the orders of my father.” Ning was startled. “Your father?”
Northmont Blacktiger…the intimidating aura of that man filled Ning with fear. He definitely wasn’t inferior to the headmaster of the Black-White College, and he was a man with an exceptionally dominating, overbearing aura! One of the candidates to be the next Marquis of Stillwater!
“You’ve come here because…?” Ning was stunned.
Clap, clap. Baiwei clapped his hands twice. Instantly, the two Zifu Disciple servants standing behind him immediately moved forward. They each took out multiple black jade platters from their storage-type magic treasures. These black jade platters were all engraved with the exquisite carving of a black tiger, and the platters themselves were crystal clear, incomparably beautiful works of art. Atop each platter, there were multiple items.
There were, in total, six black jade platters. They had on them a pair of jade bottles, a small boat, a set of black wings, and two sets of flying swords that were the size of sewing needles.
“There are two sets of flying swords. One has 72 flying swords, while the other has 18. They are all excellent Mortal-ranked flying swords.”
“This set of black wings…is a high-grade Mortal-ranked wing-type magic treasure.”
“This boat is a top-grade flying magic treasure.”
“This jade bottle holds a miasma gas treasure, which is a type of fleeing treasure.”
“This other jade bottle holds five hundred kilograms of liquefied elemental essence.” Baiwei said, with composure and assurance, “Accept all of these things.”
Ning was poleaxed. He could clearly tell that these were all extraordinary gifts. Aside from the set of black wings, which was slightly poorer, the others were extremely valuable. “This…how can I accept this?” Ning hurriedly refused. “It’s too expensive.”
“My father ordered me to come here, and I’ve already delivered the items. Everything else has nothing to do with me.” Baiwei waved his hands and said, “You don’t have to be modest. You and my father have had the chance to meet each other, and my father has given these congratulatory gifts with good intentions. Just accept them.”
Ning hesitated momentarily. Since Baiwei and himself were good friends, there now existed an irreversible relationship between himself and Northmont Blacktiger’s Estate. Since that was the case, he might as well accept them.
“Alright.” Ning nodded.
“That’s more like it! No point in not accepting my father’s things, and these aren’t that important for someone like him,” Baiwei said. “Oh, right. You asked me to search for that Meng Roch. I’ve already found him. It’s true; he hasn’t been able to join any sect at all. Do you want for me to send someone to deliver him directly to the Black-White College?”